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Wagon Roads

Cox's Cut-Off

61. Mesquite Wells:

Broken through apparently in the 1860s, a second cut-off from the old Salt Lake Wagon Road headed northeast at Riggs Wash via Mesquite Wells to Crystal Springs (Potosi townsite, Nevada) and rejoined the old Salt Lake Road at Cottonwood Springs. The Cox is likely the Silas C. Cox so active in the freighting business between San Bernardino and Salt Lake City (Beattie 1925; 1939). The Rand-McNally Pioneer Atlas of the American West depicts this cut-off but does not name it. Another wagon route shown is the Kingston Springs route as well as the old road using Resting Springs. Potosi was active in 1860-61. Two stages served the townsite (see below, #13 9). On the north edge of Mesquite Dry Lake on the present dirt road connecting Ivanpah Dry Lake and the Sandy Valley (Nevada) settlements, is an old adobe house occupied by "Old man" (Bill) Spence until his death in 1977. This is locally called "the old stage station" and may indeed be one on the old road to Potosi. As the road served later traffic as well, further research needs to be done to determine the age of the structure.




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